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Providing Services: Birth Control/Abortions etc.

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CapitalistSwine
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So I have read numerous pieces on both health care and abortion and the like in general, and I agree with all of them. I seem to have come to a point that I am having trouble giving an answer that I feel is sufficient however, not only to myself but also to those of the more liberal mindset that have different views on economics and the like.

There was some commentary made about the recent Planned Parenthood funding debacle, and the fact that peopel are not entitled to basic health care, and that it is a violation of individual rights, and therefore unethical, to force people to pay for these things, particularly if they do not agree with what those services might be.

However, I am unsure how to give a sufficient answer to some of these people about their situation given how much of a mess health care in general, and particularly the insurance companies are these days, as well as the big problem of general access. I am aware that in one state for instance, there is either only one clinic that provides abortion services, or none at all. (This is a pretty redneck state if I remember correctly). In others there are only one or two.

So a questions were posed to me, and I do not want to answer them withotu a sufficient answer. If I cannot find my own answers satisfactory, certainly neither will they, but I KNOW there is a satisfactory answer. These are the questions that were posed to me:

"What would be your alternative? Considering privatized health care allows physicians to decide whether to treat a woman based on irrational 'moral' ideals, what are individuals who seek a certain type of care to do if their doctor refuses to treat them?

I then responded: I am guessing you are talking about availability of abortion services correct?

Their response:

Not entirely, I've been turned down for birth control before and I know women who don't get PAP tests, breast exams, etc. because they can't afford them. Some insurance companies don't cover birth control either.

Another poster:

I agree with Rachel. Pharmacists are legally allowed to deny birth control/morning after pill due to religious reasons. When I first got on the pill it cost me over $30 a month, insurance covers nothing...I eventually got a different prescription after fighting my doctor over it (she wasn't happy about an unmarried woman wanting birth control so she stuck me with an expensive prescription when I SPECIFICALLY asked for the generic walmart version that was about $20 cheaper.), but some women aren't as lucky as me. I'm so fucking tired of someone else's religion dictating when I can take my reproductive freedom into my own hands.

An objectivist poster responds:

why can't Planned Parenthood rely on funding through charitable donations? If people think it's worthwhile, then donate. What I don't understand is why you think forcing people against their will to fund it is at all morally acceptable?

The original questioner:

They get funding from donations, it's not enough

An objectivist:

So many Conservatives are happy because they reject abortion, no matter how funded— it's not about abortion, it's about using tax $$ for something other than defence & courts, but the most GOPers dunno that

So many Liberals (w/ big ell) are unhappy because they see this as more than an attack on abortion, but the usurpation of advancing their social causes— it's not about abortion but using tax $$ for something other than defence & the courts, but Liberals don't see that:

Nothing i stand for concerns a woman & her personal choices regarding her body-- i would help her, if i knew her.

neither one of the parties get it.....

One of the liberals:

that's kind of an illogical conclusion Michael. Planned Parenthood mostly helps poor or young (also poor) people get reproductive health care, how are the people who can't afford condoms and birth control supposed to fund the entire organization, hmm? I would give as much money as I could to planned parenthood, but I'm a college student with little money.

The other liberal:

Obviously we need more donations but donations do not cover it. I want to hear alternatives other than finding another doctor.

I apologize for the mess of quotes....but the conversation evolved into these posts whilst I was posting this...and I figured if I am going to post about this I might as well try to get the best answer I can...I appreciate any assistance in this matter.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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"What would be your alternative? Considering privatized health care allows physicians to decide whether to treat a woman based on irrational 'moral' ideals, what are individuals who seek a certain type of care to do if their doctor refuses to treat them?"

....

I want to hear alternatives other than finding another doctor.

My response to that would be, well, too bad. Finding another doctor would be precisely the solution in a free market health care system. Doctors, like any other professionals, have the right to decide on what terms they will do business, and other people are free to take it or leave it. The alternative is to hold the view that individuals are entitled to force doctors to practice against their will, and this view is simply ludicrous. This viewpoint stems from the same root as people who think we should use the law to dictate what prices businesses charge, or to force churches to perform same-sex marriages, or to dictate to universities what students they will accept (e.g. racial quotas)... and the proper response is always the same. If you want a gay marriage, and your church doesn't do them, find a new church.

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Perhaps I don't understand what the point of contention is here, but there are two alternatives. Either there are coercive barriers to the free exchange of these services, or there aren't. If there are, then the solution is obvious. If there aren't, it still doesn't guarantee automatic access to these services, and it does not guarantee that the organizations that provide these services will get enough funding, or that these services will even exist. All of that depends on the values, actions, and judgments of the individuals involved. If, at the end of the day, the vast majority of Americans (or people in her area) oppose this service, then it will be very hard to find a producer of this service, and the price will be very high.

The people that don't want you to have this service are just refusing to make an exchange with you. Everyone has that right, to refuse to make an exchange. You can convince them to make the exchange, offer them a reward, reason with them, but at the end of the day, you can't force someone to be moral, not under a rational morality anyway. I notice this ties in with your other question on the development of public land. What needs to be understood is that the market process will not guarantee you whatever you want, it does not have a “satisfactory” answer to everything (if “satisfactory” means “I always get what I want.”) We are talking about interpersonal relations with other people, social interactions, and there is always the moral right not to make an exchange or to disagree with the terms of the other person. If they don't get what they want, then they reject the market process, meaning again they elevate their whims to dictatorial edict. It's either reason or coercion at the base of every interpersonal action. They have to make a choice. I can trade with others for what I want, or I can enslave and loot. Which one is in my rational self-interest?

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I agree that governments must not force doctors to act against their convictions. However, more importantly, I think government should remove its restrictions that prevent adult women from getting birth-control prescriptions unless they go through government-approved doctors and pharmacists.

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However, more importantly, I think government should remove its restrictions that prevent adult women from getting birth-control prescriptions unless they go through government-approved doctors and pharmacists.

That, I think, is the best answer to your question CS.

Why can't she just get birth control without a doctor's "permission"?

Why are pharmaceuticals so expensive?

She's trying to solve her problem by going after the symptom rather than the real root cause.

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I have received some great answers in avery quick fashion, and I most certainly appreciate that. I think one of the issues I have been having is a failure on my part to think critically and in principles on these issues. These answers seem like they should have been obvious to me (particularly since my forte is economics much more so than philosophy at this time) but they were not. I have quite a few Objectivist books but due to what was before a fairly rigorous life schedule I mostly skipped about reading what parts interested me at the particular moment. I think this has resulted in me understanding the general idea of all of these things, and roughly how they work together, but not truly understanding them on a real level and so I have had some trouble applying them.

I purchased the "How to Study Ayn Rand's Writings" disc from the bookstore not long ago, and while it was not what I had expected it to be, I still feel I have learned some things of value from it. I plan on going through these works in the order she wrote them and taking down notes in Microsoft Onenote (Much faster for me than writing)and then going through these notes...then reading OPAR cover to cover (which I haven't done due to my prior reading process) and doing the same, and then rereading these essays again and trying to prove all of these things to myself step by step. I think this will help a lot with the issues I have been having, although it will take some time. I will think some more on the answers provided here and I will see if I have any follow up questions or if I require any further clarification on some point. Thank you all again.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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Why can't she just get birth control without a doctor's "permission"?

That goes for all prescription drugs, why can't I just buy whatever the heck I want?

Doctors generally have leeway to prescribe pretty much whatever they want for whatever condition. The potential for lawsuits limits this power (prescribing chemo pills for a common cold would be criminal, I'd guess), but there it is.

What is so special about doctors accredited by the government, exactly?

- ico

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